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Bible Study Resumes at Charleston AME Church One Week After Massacre: Unconditional Love Reigns

Leah Marieann Klett : Jun 26, 2015 : The Gospel Herald

"This territory belongs to God." –Pastor Norvel Goff Sr.

(Charleston, NC)—One week after a racially-motivated attack at Charleston's Mother Emanuel AME Church left nine worshipers dead, almost 200 people gathered in the same basement room where the massacre took place to resume the weekly Bible study. (Photo via Gospel Herald)

"This territory belongs to God," Interim Pastor Norvel Goff Sr. told the crowd gathered in the basement after a string trio played religious hymns, including "Be Thou My Vision," The New York Daily News reports.

"Last week," Goff recalled, "dark powers came over Mother Emanuel. But, that's alright. God in his infinite wisdom said 'that's alright. I've got the nine.'"

During the service, titled "The Power of Love," Rev. Goff also urged the audience to not allow hate in their heart, "not because we are weak, but because we are strong."

"What kind of love is it that God has for us?" he asked the crowd. They called back: "Unconditional!"

The families of the victims and the Emanuel AME community have extended this kind of love to 21-year-old Dylann Roof, who sat through the class for an hour with worshipers before declaring he was there "to kill black people" and opening fire.

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